Thursday, March 27, 2008

The weekend is almost here. We’ve been coasting with sunny days in the Mid 30 degree temperatures. I told my Mom a couple of weeks ago I had an idea for a fabric postcard—an Easter idea, I told her. But it would have to wait until next year because there just wasn’t enough hours in the day. She said, “ Go ahead and make them, I want one. I don’t care if they are late.” So I’ve been stitching a little each night and tonight I completed my postcards.
They’re not original idea. I saw a photograph from Lea and thought what a great idea for a fabric postcard. So I took bits and pieces from my scrap box. I machine stitched the squares and hand appliquéd the bunnies. I decided changing the basket to a simple posey making them spring time postcards instead of Easter ones….
They will be travelling to their new homes tomorrow. I have a rubber stamp that that I use on the back to accent the address.
As for as a pattern goes, I cut and pasted the Lea’s photo into a word processor and stretched it to 4 x 6 inches. I printed out several copies and cut pieces to use for the pattern.
No special plans for the weekend – and that’s a good thing…
Time for bed--- Until tomorrow…

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In my last post I spoke of taking a few minutes the past few days to ‘fluff’ my sewing treasures. Here are my threads--- I collection literally spanning years. But you never know when you are going to need that “aqua thread”.
I threw out several spools that I felt were ‘dry-rotten'. But I just couldn’t part with the aqua.

I rounded up my embroidery thread. I was an avid cross-stitcher about 25 years ago. I can remember girls in the dorm room at college all cross-stitched. DMC Numbers???? I was lucky to have the plain threads--- I never had threads to match the color charts. When I got married and actual was able to purchase “the good stuff”--- what a luxury…. When the local department store would run threads 5 for $1.00, I would grab a handful, trying to get one of every color. When quilting took over the thread kind of took a backseat. Chelsey went through her “bracelet “ phase and she pulled out her favorite colors. With the recent tasks of embroidery to quilted pieces, I pulled out my DMC threads and organized them again.
I’m half way through the project. As dorky as it sounds--- Gosh, I’m having fun. What is it about thread and needle that just charm me--- Maybe the colors, maybe the collection. I’m still trying to figure it out.

I’m wishing for the Perle Cotton 8 balls of floss (incredibly fun to stitch with), but I’m using this as an exercise in contentment--- at least until the next holiday……

I stopped by the gas station to fill up the jeep after work… a hefty jolt back into reality… that already “paid for” thread is looking p-r-e-t-t-y good after that pit stop.

We have a local unpainted furniture factory and Tuesday I stopped by the outlet store looking for a ‘steal of a deal’ for organization. I was thinking of a lingerie chest with a bunch of tiny drawers to hold things. Lots of wishing going on, but that’s about it.

Some days I wonder what is would be like to have a sunny sewing studio---Painted yellow in my mind—complete with a huge window with plaid curtains. Then I laugh and think I’m pretty lucky to have my cozy corner of our basement, not having to put away my sewing machine every time I use it….which is almost every day….

Counting my blessings--

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We’ve been dusted with a couple of inches of new snow, but it’s supposed to get up to 40 degrees today, so it will be gone by nightfall. I usually take the back roads to work, but I think I’m going to take the long way through town today. Everyone is tired of the snow—included the plow truck guys. So the roads are messy.

I haven’t given up on my embroidery work. Here is a piece I worked on last night.
I keep working at it… And not to be bragging – but check out that ‘E’. I think I’m getting the hang of it. And I’ve fallen in love with my DMC threads all over again. I’ve been spending about ten minutes before I sew to do a little organizing in my sewing area. Don helped me hang spool racks for my threads over the weekend.

The ‘birth festival’ ended last Saturday as a total success. I was queen for a week. Pat over at Bits and Pieces forwarded me a Crabapple Hills Pumpkin pattern she had completed.
I can just picture it framed and resting on the corner of the buffet this fall. She also included another surprise--- I’ll share tomorrow.

My Blessings—
Pumpkin Lotion --- never goes out of season in my book
Needles and thread
Crayons—a perk of being a Sunday School teacher. The world would be a better place if everyone had crayons and a coloring book.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thanks for the compliments on the new header of my journal. I'd like to take credit for it but it was a design created by my son. He creates magic with the keyboard. I ask-- how did you learn this? -- 'Mom, you just have to love it and spend time playing with it.." He definitely has a gift. Is he going into the right career? -- he's a Pharmacy student...I'm hoping he gets to find the best of both worlds. Thanks again.

A springtime weakness—I had to have it.
I purchased this for the front porch this weekend. One can only hope Spring arrives sooner rather than later….. I just keep telling myself, ‘Every day is a quilting day that you can’t play in the garden…’

Catching up on stitching, I’m up to date on my March block with the Capricorn BOM…
I think my stitches are getting better. Practice is definitely the key.

My Four Seasons quilt blocks kept me entertained over the weekend.
I had it prepped them ahead of time, so I sat and sewed and laughed with Don and the kids and worked on each block.

While it may not look like it—these are definitely stars. I have enough pieces cut for the 22 stars that anchor the corners of the Primitive Garden.
Lisa Bongean uses a different technique for creating the flying geese units. I think it is going to help because these pieces are only one inch in size.

My birth festival continues ---Birthdays last longer than one day in our house. Don built me this ladder to hang quilts.
With Easter coming so early this year, I have really haven’t done much decorating, but I pulled out the Easter bunny for a week or so. He’s handmade and a remnant from a late 1980’s kitchen decoration.
Tea-dyed with a sweet embroidered face… With the addition of Don’s LCD television, I’m trying to find some way of bringing the quilts into the ‘High tech’ world without it looking silly. Don’t get me wrong—I’m enjoy the television with everyone, I’m just having trouble getting use to not having it stashed in a cabinet when we’re not using….

I should not have been at work yesterday – I must have had a virus or something, but I’m feeling tons better today.

1. Feeling better—I guess you need bad days to appreciate the good.
2. Seeing old friends in town yesterday
3. Safe travel for Eric

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today is my birthday. A quiet day, and it’s been wonderful. A morning full of phone calls gave way to an afternoon nap and a couple of hours of quilting. The temperatures outside made it to 40 degrees – a sign that spring is on its way. Icicles line the rooftop as the sun melts the snow.

A friend called and told me it was 45 and Sunny in Flint --- “Just like you…” It’s nice to be thought of that way….
My Mom gives me a quilt magazine subscription every year and she sent this cookbook. It’s filled with beautiful pictures and recipes. Eric picked two quilt books off my wish list. Chelsey gave me two stamps and pages of scrapbook paper for cards for my Sunday school kids.

Don built me a quilt ladder -- -- pictures to be taken soon -- -- and gave me the ‘Gilmore Girls’ on DVD.
Birthdays never bother me. I guess I have the “Glass is half full…” attitude. I reflect a little, but never dwell on what I “haven’t done” in my life. I kinda keep my eyes forward because there’s so much to look forward to.
I’d like to tell you the flowers came fresh out of the garden, but that’s why God invented silk ones…. I love the ironware coffee pot.

Quilt photos tomorrow.
I told Don it was fitting that National Quilting Day was on my birthday. He said, “ Every year?...You are a Dork”… I’m OK with that.

My Blessings:
Alfredo for a Birthday Lunch
3 miles in less than 30 min on the Ellyptical just to prove I can
Family that loves me…

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today’s post is about a gift. But it’s more about the friend than the gift…. I opened my mailbox the other day to receive a personalized Charm pack from Libby.
We have an on-going discussion on where plaid fabrics really want to live. It’s a constant battle over plaids wanting a sunny life in California or if they want the coziness of the snowy Northwoods that I could offer. Libby picks out the most beautiful plaids. Well, she gifted me my own personal set. What I love the most is the fact that each fabric is housed in a quilt that she’s already made. She’s passing on a piece of herself in each square.

I remember meeting Libby. I discovered her writing over a favorite library to Finn. I had just started keeping a quilting web journal. I loved her homespun quilts and her quilted tablecloth. When you think of her, you have to think of the quilted tablecloth. I pictured her being about 22 years old from all of the wonder in her writing. She always finds greatness simple things like cherry tomatoes, wire baskets, and brand new needles. Yet, she many times had the wisdom of someone way beyond her years. I’m speaking respectfully of course, because it was she that told me it didn’t matter if I ran out of border fabric that I could create my own. She told me that it was OK if block of the month quilt block didn’t match the pattern picture – ‘It makes it your own’. I guess I already knew some of the things she told me, but the fact that she expressed it through the keyboard without judgment or ridicule (and telling me to start over) made a difference to me and kept me from giving up. I have spare moments to quilt --- quite envious of those that have hours to give to it--- but she has never given up on me as a friend and my slow pace. We've both made tons of friends on the world wide web -- but I know if I was ever without a pair of scissors -- she'd be the 'Go-to Gal' for sure. She was the first person I trusted enough to give out my home address to.

We both raised daughters and she kept me from throwing in the towel a time or two…oh and she appreciates graniteware dishes, Starbucks Breakfast blend, and buttermilk…

She’s definite a keeper… I can’t wait to make something from these pieces…

Scraps of fabric - $0.00
Postage—roughly $2.00
Quilting Friends – Priceless….

Monday, March 10, 2008

I had to work late Friday, so I went in late. This gave me a chance to knock out the weekly housework and give everyone free time over the weekend. Saturday, I picked out paint to do the living room. The room is now a fresh Gobi Desert color.

We’re enjoying having Eric home for spring break. Saturday night was family Chinese night. Everyone pitches in—including dates—and we made egg rolls, crab rangoons, and pork wontons. Tons of funs, between the food and the sass I really enjoyed my kids.

That left Sunday for quilting.
I completed my Saltbox block for this month along with two stars for next month.
I love the time change. Somehow, I always feel like I have more energy. I got my Through the Seasons blocks ready for stitching at night this week.

Tonight I plan on working on the star blocks for the Primitive Garden. But if I don’t, I’m hoping there’s a fun reason for me not to. I didn’t get as much quilting done this weekend as I had planned…then again, I never do.

I have to remember... it’s not a race…..and I just marvel as the pieces come together.

My Blessings:
My family
A new wicker basket to hold a quilt project
A warm cup of coffee

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Winter wishes for Summer… maybe that’s what this snap shot should be called. I kept trying to get a photo opt yesterday, but the snow coming down kept clouding the picture.

I completed the last Primitive Garden block Monday Night. Now we’ll move onto Phase two—the sashing strips. Eric is coming home for spring break this weekend for a week or two. So I’m hoping to squeeze some quilting in.

I haven’t been real productive in the evenings. Chelsey and friends have been hanging around the house. I’m not complaining. I’ve enjoyed the conversations and company.
I love extra people at the dinner table.

We’re still ten weeks out before we can think about gardening in the U.P.. Trying to focus on other things – there’s no use in being bitter about it, it’s just life. I guess I’ll have to settle for flowers in my quilts.

Here is a footprint from trudging out in the snow for a picture.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Last Sunday Don helped me stretch this quilt and today I finally started quilting it. I admired it every day, but realized there were other things that took priority. I spent three bobbins worth of thread. If I do three bobbins a day, maybe by this time next week I’ll be sewing on the binding.

A gorgeous weekend found temperatures even reaching 41 degrees today. It’s sleeting right now as the temps are dipping back down in the 30’s. It’s definitely the price you pay for warmer weather. Don took Ransom and I on a major snow shoeing expeditions and were amazed at the different animals leaving their tracks in the snow. I guess everyone is getting a little tired of being tucked away from the cold.
I had nine kids in Sunday school including four new little ones. It made a week’s worth of preparations worth it when I heard a little boy tell his Mom, “I had so much fun. I’m so glad I came…”. I never regret teaching Sunday School.

I finished the last of the appliqué on the last block of the Primitive garden. I’m doing the embroidery work—maybe a picture tomorrow. The Capricorn quilts BOM block is posted and I want to get that posted before I go to sleep tonight.
There was enough quilting going on today that I should have great dreams tonight.

My Blessings:
1. Don & Chelsey pitching in and helping in my four year class today—My helpers were sick.
2. Ransom nudging me to get outside and enjoy the weather. It’s better than complaining about it.
3. Longer days and Bubble Bath